Own Your Health at Dharma Health Institute: Empowering communities to make healthy choices

submission by dharma_health

About Your Application

Organization(s) name(s):

Dharma Health Institute

Organization(s) website(s):


Organization(s) twitter handle(s):


Organization(s) facebook handle(s):


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Describe Your Organization(s)

Non-profit organization

For-profit organization


Other (please specify below):

In one sentence, please describe what your organization does.


Dharma Health Institute is an integrative health center that focuses on creating strategies and solutions for life long wellness, including tai chi, yoga, acupuncture, acupressure, nutrition and a wide variety of health-related workshops.

In one to three sentences, please describe your proposal.


Our Institute proposes to offer integrative and holistic health and wellbeing prevention and intervention practices to individuals that may not have access to services due to health disparities. Our goal is to introduce health strategies to underserved individuals so that they can incorporate into their daily life wellness practices that benefit and maintain their physical, mental, emotional and life-philosophy health.

Where will you be working? Please be specific (e.g. Third Street Middle School; Boyle Heights; LA County).

Central LA

East LA

San Gabriel Valley

San Fernando Valley

South LA


South Bay

Antelope Valley

County of Los Angeles (countywide)

City of Los Angeles (citywide)


Other (please specify below):

How do you plan to use these resources to make change? (check all that apply)

Conduct research

Engage residents and stakeholders

Implement a pilot or new project

Expand a pilot or program

Mobilize for systems change

Advocate with policymakers and leaders

Implement and track policy

Other (please specify below):



How will your proposal improve the following “Live” metrics? (check all that apply)

Access to healthy food

Healthcare access

Exposure to air toxins

Number of households below the self-sufficiency index

Percent of imported water

Obesity rates

Housing affordability

Rates of homelessness

Walk/bike/transit score

Acres and miles of polluted waterways

Rates of mental illness

Prevalence of adverse childhood experiences (Dream Metric)

Percentage of LA communities that are resilient (Dream Metric)

Percentage of residents receiving coordinated healthcare services (Dream Metric)

Percentage of tree canopy cover (Dream Metric)

Describe in greater detail how you will make LA the healthiest place to live.


Dharma Health Institute offers health and wellness services, and education for the health culture community. Health, longevity and quality of life are a passion for us; we believe good health is a shared personal and community responsibility. We treat clients who have or are at risk for diabetes, hypertension, high blood pressure, arthritis, heart disease, obesity, chronic diseases, anxiety, depression, pain issues, and others who are pursuing a healthier lifestyle. We are a resource for partner clinicians of various disciplines that find it beneficial to add Dharma services to their clients’ health and wellness regimen. All healthcare practitioners are licensed by the State of California to provide primary healthcare for children and adults.

Dharma Health Institute offers classes in Tai Chi, Qi Gong, Yoga, Dharma Youth, Family Fitness as well as a number of Preventative and Integrative Health services. We also offer acupuncture, acupressure, nutrition, herbs, and nutraceuticals, as well as number of integrative modalities such as Hyperbaric Oxygen, Enhanced External Counterpulsation (EECP), Infrared Sauna, Neuroplasticity and Mental Health services.

We want to introduce our health services to those who do not have the means to create a holistic approach to their health and wellness. For example, one of our community partners shared the story of a 30 year-old Latina, mother of three with a weight problem. She has not yet been approved through her Medi-Cal HMO to see a dietician and is experiencing anxiety, depression and symptoms associated with pre-diabetes. She has two special needs children, and a host of her own adverse childhood experiences. She and her children could access services at our Dharma Institute. In another case, a 67-year-old Viet Nam Vet suffers from PTSD and depression, has high blood pressure, an enlarged heart, diabetes, poor circulation and struggles with his weight. He receives medical interventions at his local VA and has received acupuncture, and claims “This has helped me more than all the medicines I have received.” However, due to the restrictions of his health benefits, his access is not consistent. He would benefit from Dharma services. Or, in a different kind of situation, there is a new mom that needs to reduce her stress: Stroller-yoga or tai chi might be perfect for her.

With support, Dharma will be able to serve people in these kinds of situations and that need a sliding scale for fees.

Please explain how you will evaluate your work.


Participants will complete a pre and post examination to help in monitoring their progress. One monitoring system we use is the InBody scan: Assesses Percentage of Body Fat, Body Mass Index, Body Strength, Intra/Extracellular water, and Visceral Fat to assess whether at risk for chronic conditions. It can be used with all ages. EKG: Assesses cardiovascular health and heart strength. And, one of our team members is a specialist in evaluation.

At intake, we will assess an individual’s eligibility for subsidized fees. At various points throughout we will ask clients how they are doing, to help catch early issues, as well as give guidance and encouragement; building relationships is important. At the completion of services we will collect Client satisfaction data related to the specific services they received. We will use data regularly collected by the various machines and progress notes from our files. Collectively, this will provide an evaluation picture of clients’ changes.

How can the LA2050 community and other stakeholders help your proposal succeed? (check all that apply)

Money (financial capital)

Volunteers/staff (human capital)

Publicity/awareness (social capital)

Infrastructure (building/space/vehicles, etc.)


Technical infrastructure (computers, etc.)

Community outreach

Network/relationship support

Quality improvement research

Other (please specify below):

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Submission Began
Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Submission Ended
Tuesday, October 06, 2015
at 07:00 PM UTC

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Voting Began
Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Voting Ended
Tuesday, November 03, 2015
at 08:00 PM UTC

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Winner Announced
Tuesday, December 08, 2015